ST. HELENA (CBS SF) – There is new reason to visit St. Helena in wine country “ACACIA HOUSE” with Chef Chris Cosentino at the helm.
A heralded chef who trained at Johnson & Wales. He has travelled all over the country and made his Executive Chef debut at Incanto in my neighborhood, Noe Valley in San Francisco. I became an instant fan of his food upon first eating there in 2005.
Cosentino rose to fame as a winner of Top Chef Masters and competitor in The Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef America.
The Acacia House adds to his already exceptional list of restaurants that includes Cockscomb in San Francisco and Jackrabbit in Portland. He also owns Boccalone Meats with a popular a store in the San Francisco Ferry Building. The meat cone of “salty pig parts” is reason alone to visit.
When not in the kitchen and not with his family this renaissance man and Chef is on his bike riding and raising money for No Kid Hungry, he designs chef wear, produces comics and cookbooks.
Chef Cosentino will be making an appearance on the GastroMagic Stage at Outside Lands (August 10-12). Go for the music but allow time for the food, fun & frivolity at the Gastro stage. He knows how to crank it to “11”.
Visit Acacia House at Las Alcobas Napa Valley for lunch or dinner but bring an overnight bag for you might just want to stay and slumber in one of the 49 guest rooms. Many of the modern & luxurious rooms and suites boast a breathtaking , one of a kind view overlooking the vineyards. To stay here is to literllay be “IN” wine country and among the vines. You will not be disappointed.
For now enjoy my Foodie Chap chat with one of the Bay Area’s boldest and most innovative chefs – Chris Cosentino. He shares a recipe below: Pork Schnitzel & Caviar” from his upcoming book Offal Good due out in September. When does Chef sleep ? I neglected to ask.
Caviar, Crème Fraiche & Sugar Snap Peas
- 375 G pork loin
- 23 G high quality caviar
- 25 G sugar snap peas, cut
- 61 G sugar snap peas, whole
- 10 G pea shoots
- 8 G crème fraiche dressing (see recipe below)
- Exra virgin olive oil
- Seasoned flour
- Egg wash
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Jacobsen sea salt
- Black pepper
- Lemon juice
Using a wooden mallet, pound the pork loin into a thin cutlet, season with salt and pepper, then dust with season flour, brush with egg wash, and coat with the panko breadcrumbs.
In a pot of boiling salted water, blanch ½ the sugar snap peas whole for 30 seconds to keep them crisp and crunchy and shock in salted ice water.
The other half, cut on a bias and leave raw. On a flat top or in a non-reactive pan, add butter and add the pork cutlet, let cook until golden brown, then flip over. While the pork is cooking on the second side, in a mixing bowl, add both the snap peas, crème fraiche dressing and season with salt & pepper. Once the pork is cooked (about 5 minutes total), place on a plate and top with the salad in the center of the pork, then put the heaping spoonful of caviar on the top of the salad. Finish by garnishing with the pea shoots, fresh lemon zest and squeezing lemon over the pork. Serve ASAP.
Crème Fraiche Dressing
- 140 G crème fraiché
- 8 G tarragon, minced
- 7 G chives, minced
- 22 G caviar
- 3 G lemon zest, on the fine microplane
- 3 G salt
- 2 G black pepper
Mix all ingredients together and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
For more information, visit:
1915 Main Street
St. Helena, CA, 94574